Feds ask court to shut down Saranac food processor

SARANAC, Mich. (WOOD) — Federal authorities are asking a judge to shut down an Ionia County food manufacturer they say failed to address years of health code violations.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration filed their request for a permanent injunction against Saranac Brand Foods, Inc. in a Grand Rapids federal court Thursday.

The 14-page complaint accuses Saranac Brand Foods of repeatedly violating federal safety standards in how it manufactured, processed, handled and packaged some of the 35 ready-to-eat foods it creates.

The complaint also states that during a Nov. 29, 2017 inspection,  bacteria that can cause fatal listeria infections was found in 12 of 97 samples taken from the company’s facility at 60 South Bridge Street in Saranac. The federal agencies say two surfaces that tested positive for listeria monocytogenes were the same sites contaminated with the bacteria during an FDA inspection in February 2016. 

The court document states the bacteria was also found on the damaged floor in the food processing area and floor drain.

The complaint states in 2017, inspectors witnessed workers spray down a food cart, causing debris to land on an uncovered food cart containing coleslaw. They also saw a worker touch the contaminated floor then food product without washing his hands, the court filing claims.

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